tv [untitled] November 5, 2013 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
i think it's important to see people hanging out with friends and of course not doing anything illegal but utilizes the space that makes san francisco great. when i did visit soul i went to one of our parks at 11:00 p.m. and what i saw was an incredible healthy use of force our park. i saw many people out there. i think it's important to what you mean by say there is any type of possible behavior. i think if there is another approach that dealt with vandalism strictly, i'm very open to that. i was really happy to hear there were some discussions coming out of supervisor breed's office. i think it's important to have this very important dialogue. >> thank you, supervisor
avalos? >> thank you. i would like to associate myself with some of the comments with colleagues on the board, supervisor breed and kim and i'm very concerned about unintended consequences. but one thing is for sure if people see e-mails from me at 4:00 in the morning, i'm an insomniac and i'm in the parks very early in the morning because i live a block away from crocker as zone park. i go to the movies after i put the the kids to bed at 10:30 at night and i walk to crocker park and i like the cold clear
nights. you can see the stars really well. that is the most amazing views of our stars at night. you can see shooting stars on occasion. it's a wonderful park. i feel though that because i'm one of the persons who is in the park late at night and early in the morning that there are many other san franciscans there as well. my worry about this legislation is that it's the door for open enforcement. perhaps i may not be the one targeted as someone doing something illegal in the parks, but others will and people who are selectively targeted often will be young people, people of color and the police department that has done a terrific job with racial profiling that might have to live up to that
standard so far. i feel that what we'll be doing with this legislation that we'll stop people and ask questions later. this tool opens the door for that to happen. i know there are problems with vandalism and dumping and i know those are real issues and we need patrol to prevent that from happening and other comments made by my colleagues that the reality that there are thousands of people sleeping outdoors because there aren't places for them to be housed. that problem or phenomenon exist and it
doesn't make sense that we are trying to close our parks when there is thousands of people living there. it doesn't make any sense why i will be voting no against this. and there are issues of vandalism and congratulate graffiti in the parks, but this is not way to go. >> thank you. president chiu. >> thank you mr. chair, first of all colleagues i want to thank everyone for this. i also want to thank everyone in this room who have thought hard about this. this is not an easy topic and i want to thank the perspective that have been raise abide our advocates. like many of us here i did not support cid lie and it did not
have the impact i didn't think it would have. like you, i have been supportive of our progressive budget priorities every year for services for our homeless and individual families. i do think we can and ought to do more. i have worked with you to create legislation for homeless for transitional age and for people transitioning out of homelessness to create affordable housing. with that being said, we do know cloegz -- colleagues who are trying to prevent crimes that none of us think are being committed by homeless individuals but we know these are crimes happening every night including my district. this has not struck me as being unreasonable. we
had a discussion about this enforce many. we've all had conversations with those and we do think that this is something that law enforcement in san francisco does take seriously and works to deal with. one of the things i appreciate about this legislation is that there were amendments that were carved out for particular parks where we know there is often many lawful and appropriate nighttime activity. for example unit square, plaza, herman plaza and panhandle to name a few, because of the input of colleagues in the public we have exempt those out for lawful activities that happen between the hours of midnight. i would be open if colleagues, you had particular parks within your district that you think you would want to see people in
the streets. we know we have neighborhoods in parks where this is very much a real issue. i also appreciate very much the fact that this legislation calls for the tracking of incidents and report backs to the -- i will be among the first to call it out if we see it. we have laws in the parks and these laws have not been used in a selective
enforcement. i ask folks to step back and consider what we are trying to do to solve a problem. the last thing i want to say that i think it's easy to criticize policy proposals when there is an active alternative. what i ask you if you are going to have issues with something that i have proposed give us a different and a better solution. again, i know that it's easy in this chamber to have some hot rhetoric. if there is something on the table, i'm all ears, but i think it's important to do what we can to solve this problem. i'm open to hearing other solutions in the next months and years. but until i hear a better solution, i think this is a narrowly taylored piece of legislation that will make some head way in dealing
with the issues we have. and i support the amendments that have been made. >> i want to offer a solution and amendment here that neglected to mention earlier that is supervisor mar had concerns about language that was giving greater powers to the general manager. i didn't see that, i just want to make sure that those powers that are being given to the general manager whatever powers the general managers has are consistent with current policy. so i'm proposing an amendment to section 231 and section a and that would be deleting section two of that section when language says when public
safety is affected or by riot or unlawful assembly activity the city can close the park as he or she deems necessary for the safety of the public. i want to delete that language but add at the end of that section g, nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the general manager of the director of parks commission under section 3.3 of this code. then i want to add to section 3.3 in adding 3.3 to this ordinance, the language that says, nothing in this section shall authorize the general manager of parks and recreation commission to close any portion of any park or park building because of the content or viewpoint of expressive activities existing
or anticipated to the extent such expressive activities are protected by the 1st amendment to the united states constitution. so essentially this amendment is conforming our current amendments that we are making to this park code with existing park code language in section 3.83 that is saying the general manager cannot limit 1st amendment rights in our parks and essentially what it's doing is just making sure that it's consistently across the park code and not at making sure we have language that contradicts one another. i would like to propose that these amendments are made. if we have copies of that we can share that and i have my legislative aid to bring copies fore everyone. i just wanted to check with mr. gibner if these amendments are substantive if yukon firm that.
>> sure. department city attorney, gibner. it doesn't require additional hearing in committee. >> you helped me with this language, we are not really altering in anyway the powers of the managers, just making it consistent which has already been in the park code consistent with first amendment rights. >> that's correct. it's proposed in this ordinance noted that general manager would retain the authority to close the parks in certain emergencies. that authority also exist in the park code, lts -- although the language was a little different. it's the cross-reference in 3.3 in this ordinance and 3.03
included some language that was added in 1981-82. that the commission or general manager could not close the park or any park building in order to stifle 1st amendment activity. we've tinkered with that language a little bit to make clear the parks and recreation commission cannot close any park building or any portion of a park because of the content or viewpoint of any 1st amendment protected activity in the park or building. >> very good. thank you. i'm thinking of we've had a lot of demonstration most recently in 2011 that lasted days in our parks and those were consistent with 1st amendment rights and people were asserting their 1st amendment rights by rights to assembly of the occupied movement. >> thank you supervisor avalos.
supervisor wiener. >> i will second the amendment. i think it makes a lot of sense. it would create a lot of confusion. it would make a lot of sense to cross-reference the section. >> thank you, colleagues, can we take that amendment without objection? thank you. supervisor kim? >> thank you, i actually want to suggest another amendment. i have been told that this is not an anti-homeless initiative. for that reason, on page 3, under subsection d. online 5 and 6, we keep the park hours but shall be subject to the penalty setforth in the park article 10 and i want to pet put put with the exception of sleeping violation. this is a point that i forgot to make earlier. that is this. identify talked -- i have talked to people who sleep in our parks.
i don't have the data that shows this but the vast majority of people that sleep in the park are women. i know this concern came from supervisor campos around members of our lgbt community and homeless. by the way, many of you know i stayed in a shelter over night and i saw the bias against lgbt particularly against transgender members. it is not to blame people in our shelter system. our shelter system is a mime mic crow -- micro system. there is a lot of bias and miss understanding around transgender. i heard a lot from women that say they feel safer sleeping in the parks as well. we have a limited number of beds and that is the reality. acid lie, i remember when sfpd presented this legislation stated that they understood that people had to sleep on the streets and therefore made an
exception to acid lie that it was not an enforcement at nighttime that any person can sleep on the sidewalk. i think it's very difficult to tell our residents that. >> thank you, any commence -- comments on the amendment. supervisor avalos. he second. colleagues, discussion. supervisor campos? >> supervisor wiener? i have a point of clarification for the author of the amendment. is it can you clarify, because i know in this sleeping ban that already exist there is -- there are consequences outlined there.
posted park closing hours to which have been spoken about which a person is asked to leave the park. >> when is park is closed. i'm trying to get to the point of not ticketing the person in the park. >> that can happen right now. if a person is sleeping in the park, for instance camping. it's a progressive fine. $100 for the infraction, up to five hundred for a misdemeanor. >> if we create this section which starts a fine at $100. >> if you create an exception for sleeping, you would be discounting an existing park code section that prohibits sleeping in the park. >> that park code would still
exist? >> you would have to make a vote i imagine first to -- there is an existing law that prohibits that. >> gibner. there is an existing law in the code that prevents people from sleeping in the park. if someone is cited for sleeping in the park, that person cited for the same amount. the sleeping section of the park creates a safe harbor or an exception for someone who has not previously been cited for sleeping in the park or for someone who within 30 hours of the citation accept social services by the city. so there are some exceptions to the
sleeping in the park section of the park code. >> how would this ordinance impact the current practice. if you are sleeping in the park when the park is closed. you can automatically get a ticket violation starting at $100 regardless of how sleeping is treated during hours when the park is open. >> the sleeping in the parks provision only applied during the hours during 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.. but you are right. to your question, this ordinance would create a new separate citation. so that if someone is sleeping in the park between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., that person could be cited under this new section 3.21 for park. >> do you have a suggestion for language that would make the
current practice over this current, for specifically for sleeping in the parks. >> i see a few names on the roster. if i can work on that >> supervisor campos. >> thank you mr. president, i appreciate some of the amendments that have been offered, first i want to thank supervisor yee because i know there is an effort to make this a better piece of public policy. at the end of the day, i think the legislation remains flawed. i want to make a couple of points and it's one of those things that the more i hear about that, the more troubling it becomes. it's not that you have selective enforcement once this legislation is passed. it's that there is selective enforcement already embedded in the legislation. we heard from
president chiu that someone at some point decided that certain areas are okay because and unlawful activities that happened in those spaces. i don't know how someone decided which part of san francisco is more lawful than others. i would be interested in understanding what the criteria is use for that. i don't think that one part of the city has a monopoly on unlawful activity nor do i believe that the city has a monopoly on unlawful activity. if we are going to carve out actual parts, then we need to have a consistent rational for carving those out. why i would say, why carve out one and not the rest? so that i think it makes the issue of selective enforcement even more of a problem and i think to the
extent that someone wants to challenge the legality of this law, i would certainly point to the fact that there is already a selective enforcement piece that is embedded in this legislation that someone decided that some things that happen in some parts of the city are okay, but not in others. and i certainly would take issue with deciding how you decide who it's more lawful than whom. the second point we were asked to provide a solution. i have a radical idea. if we are trying to address the issue of vandalism, how about enforcing the laws in place to deal with vandalism. how about that idea. wouldn't that be what we are talking about here at the end of the day. we try to complicated things without for thing at the end of the day what we are talking about here is that
there is a select group of people who are creating the problem and you can't deal with that problem by casting a white net that punish is everyone else. let's try that. >> the attorney answered my questions as well as the chief. >> okay. colleagues, further discussion, supervisor kim you were contemplating an amendment, i'm not sure if you have language yet. >> no, i'm looking at the section of the park code that deals with citation for sleeping in the park. i would like that to be the presiding portion of the code for when you are sleeping in the park when park hours are closed. >> deputy city attorney john gibner, i have not been able to
come up with the exact language, but you have explained your amendment and we can if the amendment passes we'd be happy to write that up and distribute to the clerks office after the meeting. so the amendment would be that no person who fits into the exceptions to the sleeping prohibition can be cited for violation of section 3.21. if that person is cited for being in the park after hours while asleep. >> if i can just ask clarification to supervisor kim, you are saying you can only be cited for one or the other but not both, is that the point of the amendment? >> no, would you be cited under our current park code for sleeping in the park but not under this. >> so you would still be
allowed to be cited on that. >> you would be cited under how currently we deal with people sleeping in the park. which is that if you do not have an outstanding citation violation of this section or within 30 days of issuance, he or she accepts the violation as city attorneys. >> okay. i it has been an offer of an amendment. >> i would presume that will be sleeping during the time they are encountered by law enforcement. just in terms of having a very clear amendment about when to apply or not apply. in other words the carve out would be for someone sleeping at that time.
>> are you saying versus a park patrol officer? >> no, whoever the citing officer they are encountered by law enforcement whoever is citing them, if the person can't be cited under the new provision because they are sleeping, if they then are still at that point and they are no longer sleeping. >> i guess what i'm suggesting if you are cited for sleeping in the park at 8 -- 8:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the morning. this this new code would not then be utilized on
that individual who is sleeping. >> i think we need to make sure the amendment is drafted in a way that it's covering. so a person once they are encountered by law enforcement they are encountered sleeping and if the officer is enforcing under the sleeping section, not under this section, but if the officer then an hour later encounters the person no longer sleeping and they haven't left the park, they can be cited under the new section. >> the second time. >> yeah. >> i actually feel like this section deals with being found against. >> not when they are not sleeping. >> they are standing. that's
fine. >> mr. gibner. >> a person who is encountered by sleeping under section 3.13, but not under section 3.21 for being in the park while sleeping? >> for sleeping. >> all right. that is what i thought was the final language but i understand the intent of the amendment and we will draft it. >> okay. any further discussion on the amendment? supervisor wiener? >> with that kind of focused amendment i'm fine with it and i would support it and the question is whether we vote on it as an oral amendment or receive the language. maybe you can just articulate what the amendment is so we know everyone is very clear on what they are voting on with the
idea of preparing the language. >> sure. department city attorney job gibner. section 3.3 is the prohibiting sleeping in the park provision. that a person encountered sleeping in the park during the hours that the park is closed maybe cited for violation of section 3.13 but not be cited for violation of section 3.21, for being in the park while sleeping. >> okay. i'm comfortable with that amendment and i will support it. >> okay. on the kim avalos gibner amendment, colleagues can we take that without objection. that should be the case. and any further discussion before a vote on the underlying ordinance as